Today is Halloween. I should post pictures of my kids dressed up and begging for candy. That's what mom blogs are for, right? I will get around to that, but Halloween also happens to my dad's birthday; my birth father.
They say (whoever "they" is) your personality is fully formed by six. I learned this in college. This means, my birth parents played a huge role in my life. They are responsible for much of what I am today (good and bad). While we're giving props let's also recognise their role in the genetics they passed on to me (also good and bad). I look at so many children each day whether it be in my house, in the schools I've taught in, The TreeHouse, or church, and I wonder how much of their behavior is learned and how much is genetic. Really though, much of what we are boils down to our parents, genetics, and those first six years.
I realize there are many variables in my simple theory...this is called life. My life took the first of many major turns at six years old. I left home (not by choice). I never went back. I didn't see my dad again until I was well into adulthood and sought him out myself. I won't use this post to document details of that meeting or feelings from that time. This post's purpose has now become clear to me.
It's difficult to hold on to feelings from so long ago and memories forged by a small child. My birth father passed away several years ago, and I was quite emotional for a daughter who had little to no contact with the man. I now know I cried for what would never be. I am a 30 something woman still grasping to the tiniest shreds of anything from pre-adoption just to keep some kind of a connection. A connection to what, I am not sure. I am loyal. That's for certain. Is that learned or genetic? Either way, there is a strong chance it comes from my birth father or mother.
If Mike "Dad" Wagar were standing here I would ask these things:
Do you think I look more like you or the mother?
Do you eat fast? Are you always the first one done?
Do you love to read? Is it true my name came from a novel you read?
Are you funny? Do you love to laugh? Can you laugh for me?
Did you miss me when I didn't come back? Did you want me back?
Do you love me like you love your sons?
I was a pretty great kid wasn't I?
Here are things I would say:
The forehead...hate it.
I like animals.
I was a pretty great kid.